Big 12: Mauro Bondi

Three more Big 12 schools have officially announced their classes for 2011.

Texas
  • Ranked No. 5 nationally by ESPN.com
  • 7 ESPNU 150 signees (most in Big 12)
  • 23 players made official visits to Texas. The Longhorns signed 22 of those players. The NCAA allows 56 official visits.
  • 11 defensive signees
  • 11 offensive signees
Nebraska
  • Ranked No. 14 nationally by ESPN.com
  • 4 ESPNU 150 signees
  • 12 offensive signees
  • 7 defensive signees
  • 1 specialist (K Mauro Bondi)
  • 15 additional walk-ons
  • 5 players from Texas, the most of any state
  • 20 signees hail from 11 states
Baylor
  • 12 defensive signees
  • 7 offensive signees
  • "We lost quite a few seniors from the defense so we need to fill the void there," Briles said in a release. "We were a little younger offensively last year so we didn't need to take as many on that side of the ball."
  • 18 of 19 signees from Texas
  • Five defensive linemen

Big 12 top commits who have signed

February, 2, 2011
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Letters of intent will be coming in all day, but a few of the top commits across the Big 12 have gotten an early start. Here are a few of the top commits in the league who have officially gotten their John Hancocks on to kick off National Signing Day.

Missouri
Nebraska
Oklahoma
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech

Roundup: UT salaries, key recruiting moves

January, 31, 2011
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A few notes and nuggets from the offseason weekend that was:

Before Mack Brown began his coaching search that eventually required him to make six offseason hires, he met with the Texas Board of Regents to discuss coaching salaries. It sounds like they were, uh, receptive to what he had to say.

After a shocking and disappointing 5-7 season in 2010, Brown's assistants received hefty raises. Brown is expected to meet with the media in Austin later today for the first time since the season finale, a home loss to Texas A&M. Texas already sat comfortably at the top of the heap in assistant coaches' pay, and these latest raises only accentuate that. No one is making what defensive coordinator Will Muschamp made ($907,000) in 2010, but you definitely won't hear any complaints coming from the football facilities any time soon.

Here's a breakdown of last year and this year's salary among the coaching staff, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman.

Defensive coordinator
  • 2011: Manny Diaz - $625,000 (made $260,000 at Mississippi State in 2009)
  • 2010: Will Muschamp - $907,000 (took Florida head coach job)
Offensive coordinator
  • 2011: Bryan Harsin (will call plays) - $625,000 (made $259,520 at Boise State in 2009)
  • 2011: Major Applewhite (also coaches running backs) - $500,00 (made 269,509 in 2010)
  • 2010: Greg Davis - $477,084 (resigned after season)
Tight ends
  • 2011: Bruce Chambers - $200,000
  • 2010: Bruce Chambers - $187,039
Defensive ends
  • 2011: Oscar Giles - $200,000
  • 2010: Oscar Giles - $162,451
Defensive backs
  • 2011: Jerry Gray - $425,000 (previous NFL salary unknown)
  • 2010 Duane Akina - $318,509 (left for Arizona)
Offensive line
  • 2011: Stacy Searels - $425,000 (made 301,200 at Georgia in 2010)
  • 2010: Mac McWhorter - $292,759
Receivers
  • 2011: Darrell Wyatt - $315,000 (made 250,000 at Kansas in 2010)
  • 2010: Bobby Kennedy - 212,519 (took receivers coach job at Colorado)

Life as a Longhorn right now? Well, last season's struggles aside, it's clearly pretty good.


Huskers find a new kicker

Nebraska will need a lot of new faces on special teams, after punter/kicker Alex Henery and kickoff specialist Adi Kunalic both exhausted their eligibility following the 2010 season.

The Huskers had a commit for their 2011 class, Niklas Sade, but he decommitted and pledged to North Carolina State last month.

The solution: Nebraska went after Mauro Bondi, a Boca Raton, Fla. native and (former) Wake Forest commit who has an impressive YouTube highlight reel and sounds ready to replace Henery.

"I definitely followed him, so I have to live up to that and maybe do even better," he told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Bondi gives Nebraska 18 commits for its 2011 class. ESPN.com ranks the Huskers' class No. 14 nationally.


Cowboys' top commit 'solid'

One player who doesn't sound like he's decommitting or recommitting anywhere is ESPNU 150 member and running back Herschel Sims, Oklahoma State's top commit.

The Cowboys' running backs coach, Robert Gillespie, left Oklahoma State to join former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. Sims had reportedly been wavering earlier in the recruiting season, but took his official visit to Stillwater in January and his high school coach told the Tulsa World that Sims is solid with the Cowboys and ready to sign on Wednesday, adding that there isn't "any doubt about it."
"During his official visit, he called that Saturday night and said, 'I can’t imagine playing anywhere else,' Sims' coach, Steve Warren, said. "He loved it."

With Sims, Oklahoma State has 27 recruits committed to its 2011 class, which can begin signing letters of intent on Wednesday. ESPN.com ranks Oklahoma State's class No. 20 nationally.

Recruiting needs: Big 12 North

January, 26, 2011
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Signing day is exactly a week from today, and it's time to take a look at who needs what in its 2011 class.

Some schools have addressed these with their current class. Some haven't. Others are still trying.

We'll kick things off with the artists formerly known as the Big 12 North and examine the South later today.

COLORADO

Cornerback: Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith were pretty reliable for the Buffaloes, but both are headed to the NFL, and the Buffaloes could definitely use some depth behind their first-year starters. It's not quite as pressing of an issue considering their move to the less pass-happy Pac-12, but they still like to sling it out west.

Receiver: Colorado isn't exactly starving anywhere on offense, but receiver sticks out a bit. Toney Clemons was good, but maybe not quite what the Buffaloes hoped he'd be in 2010, but they caught a break in getting Paul Richardson back after a great freshman season. The Buffaloes need some complementary pieces around Clemons and Richardson to replace departed pass-catchers Scotty McKnight and Travon Patterson. Next year, that should be tight end Ryan Deehan and receiver Will Jefferson.

IOWA STATE

Receiver: It's been a struggle for Iowa State in recent years, but they have to get better outside to help out their quarterback. Sedrick Johnson's transfer only worsens the Cyclones depth at the position, but Jake Williams and tight end Collin Franklin, the team's leading receiver, are gone. Shontrelle Johnson looks ready to become a big factor in the offense, but the Cyclones filling the space at receiver will make it easier for Johnson to replace running back Alexander Robinson.

Safety: Both starters, David Sims and Zac Sandvig, are gone. So is the Cyclones top reserve at the position, Michael O'Connell. Sims was a top-notch talent that will be tough to replace, but Iowa State needs more depth here. They should be solid at corner with Leonard Johnson, Ter'ran Benton, Jeremy Reeves and Anthony Young, which could make the new safeties' jobs easier.

KANSAS

Defensive line: KU is losing three of four starters on the line, including the team's only All-Big 12 talent, defensive end Jake Laptad. Turner Gill wants more speed, and this is a place to install it. Tackles that tip the scales at 320 pounds aren't too necessary in this league, but speed on the edge can go a long way in stopping the pass.

Quarterback: Neither Jordan Webb or Quinn Mecham look like long-term answers at quarterback for the Jayhawks. Mecham will be a senior, and Webb might develop into a better player as a sophomore next year, but Kansas needs other options. The Jayhawks hope Brock Berglund, the top-rated recruit in Colorado, is the solution to the problem.

KANSAS STATE

Running back: I hear your cries for Bryce Brown, Wildcats fans, but K-State can't expect to hitch their wagon to the former blue-chip recruit turned Tennessee transfer in the same way it did for Daniel Thomas. Thomas and his backup, William Powell, are gone, and the Wildcats need some depth at running back to show up.

Interior offensive linemen: K-State loses both guards and its center from an offense that produced the Big 12's leading rusher in 2010. Don't expect them to do it again in 2011 without Wade Weibert, Kenneth Mayfield and Zach Kendall, as well as Thomas and Powell, but finding some new talent behind them will help them come close.

Cornerback: David Garrett emerged as a budding star in 2010 ready for a breakout senior year in 2011, but the Wildcats lose Terrance Sweeney and Stephen Harrison, as well as safety Troy Butler. Like we've mentioned earlier, good secondaries are a must for success in the Big 12, and K-State had one of the league's worst in 2010.

MISSOURI

Receiver: Missouri has some good ones ready to suit up in 2011, namely Wes Kemp, Jerrell Jackson and T.J. Moe, but the Tigers don't have a true gamebreaker. They have some younger players in Marcus Lucas and Jimmie Hunt who they hope will develop into big-time, All-American caliber receivers, a la Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander. In Missouri's system, though, adding a few receivers is always a good idea. They certainly don't need any more running backs.

Defensive backs: Mizzou doesn't have any huge holes that need to be filled with recruiting, but the Tigers lose both corners, Carl Gettis and Kevin Rutland from their 2010 team. Kip Edwards and E.J. Gaines look likely to fill those roles, but the Tigers could use some depth and keep recruiting in the secondary to help add some talent around Tavon Bolden and Matt White, safeties who will replace departed Jarrell Harrison, who actually had to play some linebacker in 2010 because of injuries.

NEBRASKA

Every kind of kicker: Alex Henery, the team's punter and kicker is gone. So is kickoff specialist and lover/producer of touchbacks, Adi Kunalic. Fan favorite Henery was hardly underappreciated by the Nebraska faithful, but they'll miss him even more if the Huskers can't find a suitable placekicker and punter. Bo Pelini was reportedly after Wake Forest commit Mauro Bondi this week.

Receiver: Niles Paul and Mike McNeill are gone. The Huskers need Brandon Kinnie to come through with another good year and it'd be nice if Quincy Enunwa broke through in 2011, but Taylor Martinez needs some more help at wide out, and a couple new recruits could provide it as Martinez's passing prowess matures.

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